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DIY Alternative Christmas Tree

One of the most symbolic aspects of the Christmas holiday is the tree – but a lot of people can’t have real trees in their apartments, or just don’t have enough room. Luckily there are many alternative ways to make your own “tree” that are just as beautiful as the real thing! I have always loved the idea of constructing a tree on the wall using tree branches, and this year I finally got around to making one. It is incredibly easy and the perfect alternative to a real tree – it is displayed on the wall so it takes up no room, and it is absolutely magical looking.

All you need to complete this project are some branches, string lights, and whatever decorations you wish to use on your tree! I scrounged around outside for my branches and was able to find some that were the perfect lengths, but if you need to you can saw the branches to your desired length.

diy alternative christmas trees

To attach the branches to the wall, I used a hot glue gun and glued tacks to the branches. This worked just fine for me, but you could also use nails or something like this.

diy alternative christmas tree

Space out your branches evenly with the largest one on the bottom and smallest at the top, forming the shape of a tree. I also added a “star” at the top that is actually a little snowflake made of twigs. Now simply add some string lights and decorations!

diy alternative christmas tree

For decorations, I used some pine needle sprigs, dried flowers and my embellished animal figurines. The branches act like shelves, so you can just place decorations right on them!

diy alternative christmas tree

diy alternative christmas tree

diy alternative christmas tree

Have you ever made an alternative Christmas tree? Send a photo to, we would love to see it!

More DIY projects from the BLDG 25 Blog.

Photos by Julia.

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Alison -December 5, 2012, 9:13AM

I LOVE THIS! So incredibly cute and great for an apartment short on floor space :)

Amy -December 5, 2012, 10:02AM

I love this idea!

Megan -December 5, 2012, 11:53AM

Such a cute idea!!! Love it..maybe I should do this next year, my cats always tear up my regular christmas tree and my little kittie eats the fake needles..

ytoc -December 5, 2012, 2:08PM

love this!

Jeannette -December 5, 2012, 2:40PM

What a great idea! Definitely for anyone who’s short on space, or even if there’s a family tree and you just want a personal one in your own room. How about a camper? Or the front porch? Love it.

Megan -December 5, 2012, 3:03PM

So cute! I made an alternative Christmas tree this year as well. It doesn’t save much on space, but I love how unique it is. Here’s a photo of it on my instagram feed:

fp julia -December 5, 2012, 3:23PM

Megan that is so cute!! I love it :)

Stella -December 6, 2012, 6:53AM

There will be holiday on christmas.. Woooo… I will create christmas tree..

Johnie Gall -December 6, 2012, 12:22PM

This is SO CUTE! Doing this…now.

ellie -December 6, 2012, 4:48PM

well being jewish, i have never had a xmas tree, but i have made driftwood menorahs
this is beautiful

fp julia -December 6, 2012, 6:04PM

Ellie, that sounds awesome! I’d love to see it :)

jenny -December 7, 2012, 7:23AM

i love this idea, maybe i will do it next year.
this year i created something little myself :)

fp julia -December 7, 2012, 10:17AM

jenny that’s so cute! i love your idea of putting candles in glass bottles around the tree!

Margie -December 9, 2012, 12:05PM

So simple and cute ….
I have large sugar pine cones to hang in the bay window with pretty ribbon …
Garland around the outside …

Merry Christmas to everyone …

monika -December 13, 2012, 10:09AM

seeing as the winter solstice was celebrated by the pagans love before “christmas”, this is a great way to bring back a little of the old ways back into our modern lives, and get a tiny bit closer to nature! thanks for the inspiration :)

Chloe -December 18, 2012, 12:01PM

This is the most beautiful “faux” tree I’ve seen this season, it’s so unique! No two could be the same :) In the spirit of all things xmassy, here’s some of the coolest Xmas Tees around, enjoy :)

Jennifer -December 20, 2012, 10:37AM
Naomi -December 22, 2012, 1:09PM

I LOVE this! Such a beautiful alternative tree, or just a great decoration for an empty wall. Another benefit of this tree is that it can be made from scrap wood from the backyard or nearby forest – a very green way to decorate with natural materials. No wasted tree!

Nina Porter -December 3, 2013, 3:17AM

Cute idea! About how many lights should be used? Set of 50 or 100?

Nathalie -December 11, 2013, 5:45PM

Thank you so much for sharing this! We’re having an extremely hard time financially and can’t afford a traditional tree. You’ve made my heart happy :)

Adriane -February 17, 2014, 7:37AM

Such a great idea must be mentioned on – please let me know if this is not ok for you.

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kristina McLaughlin -November 23, 2014, 2:04AM

I have the trees that everyone loves to have n too give.

kristina McLaughlin -November 23, 2014, 2:12AM

2” tall n. 1″by 1″ I’ve been making them for 20 years as of this year . they are serving trees with lights a hundred bites the two different ways don’t have to link they have little toppers on the top I make sports ones any kind you want I make also I have 4 different kinds of pine cone trees I cthe most the tree is is $80 for a full pine country I can ship any tree anywhere in the country for 15 dollars more in most cases with $50 insurance and a tracking barcode on the packages and guaranteed to be delivered in 2 to 3 days feel free to contact me at my email .an make

Cait -November 26, 2014, 9:38PM

I LOVE this idea! I just moved into my first apartment, and this was perfect for making a room cozy!

Diane N. -December 2, 2015, 7:07PM

Seriously loving your blog!

Linnie B. -January 11, 2016, 10:00PM

Love the simplicity, space, and grace of this design.

I will be trying this with my students next year, especially since our therapeutic school is on an Olmsted designed campus (lots of branches!).

This is what the holiday should be about.

Less is definitely more!! Thanks.

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